What’s the problem? At the moment, for technical reasons involving server bandwidth, any condition that stacks in intensity is limited to 25 stacks per target, no matter how many players are applying that condition. This is great in PvP and WvW, because condition damage can be outright withering. In PvE, however, it means that condition damage is extremely suboptimal in any group content (dungeons and fractals) and entirely useless in large events (like world bosses). To add to this, many skills used by Power/Precision/Ferocity builds apply conditions, so stacks can be taken up by weaker conditions applied by players with low Condition Damage.
Let’s get a couple things out of the way right off the bat:
First, please note that I am not suggesting any buffs to condition damage for PvP or WvW. Conditions are already plenty powerful there.
Second, we already know that giving each player a “personal” stack won’t work.Remember, the stated reason for the condition stack cap in the first place is that each condition requires server bandwidth, so having a potentially dozens of separate stacks of each condition on a world boss would be a huge problem there.
Third, this change probably doesn’t need to apply to Vulnerability. You’ll see why it shouldn’t later on, but at the same time, it isn’t like people’s builds rely solely on Vulnerability to do damage. I think 25 stacks of Vulnerability is plenty.
So, how do we solve this?
Second-tier conditions. I can’t take credit for the idea—I’ve seen it around before—but I think it’s an elegant solution and I’d like to have an active thread about it if at all possible. Most importantly, and I’m going to include this in this post multiple times: second-tier conditions should only work on NPC enemies. Players should be completely immune.
In short, it works like this. Let’s say you’re applying Bleeding to a target. Right now, when it reaches 25 stacks, you can’t apply any more Bleeding until some of the stacks fall off. This change would implement a new condition, called Hemorrhaging (or something like that), that replaces Bleeding once it reaches 25 stacks. The new Hemorrhaging condition would do equal damage to those 25 stacks of Bleeding over the exact same duration that those stacks had left and removes that Bleeding, allowing players to apply more. Second-tier conditions like Hemorrhaging also stack by intensity, so in situations with a bunch of players applying Bleeding, you could potentially reach multiple stacks of Hemorrhaging as well.
(Just because I enjoy it, here are some hypothetical names. Bleeding could convert to Hemorrhaging; Confusion could convert to Turmoil; and Torment could convert to Anguish.)
Let me see if I can address some possible concerns you might have:
1. Won’t this make conditions even more powerful in WvW and PvP? No! Hemorrhaging, Turmoil, and Anguish would only work on NPC enemies, never players. (See, I told you I’d put this in here more than once.)
2. Wouldn’t having potentially hundreds of stacks of Bleeding applied to a boss potentially do way too much condition damage? That depends. Do you think letting dozens of players do direct damage (via Berserker builds) at the same time is way too much damage? This change would allow Condition Damage-heavy builds to coexist as well as Power/Precision/Ferocity builds do.
3. Doesn’t this potentially increase the amount of damage a single condition-applier can do if they can reach 25 stacks of Bleeding multiple times? Maybe. But how likely is it that, say, a single Necromancer is going to apply another 25 stacks of Bleeding before the first Hemorrhaging condition wears off? How likely is it that he or she will apply 25 stacks of Bleeding reliably and regularly in the first place?
4. This doesn’t help with damaging conditions that stack by duration, like Poison and Burning. No, it doesn’t, and frankly I’m not too sure what to do about those. They’re not limited by the server bandwidth-saving condition cap, but rather by the very fact that they stack by duration. But helping with conditions that stack by intensity would still be a huge help for gw2 gold who want to play Condition Damage builds in group PvE.
5. We’ve talked about fixing the condition cap before. ArenaNet isn’t going to do anything about it! Maybe, maybe not. I still think it’s worth keeping on everyone’s radar.
So: any thoughts, comments, questions, or suggestions? Personally, I think this can serve as a really elegant solution to the condition cap issue that wouldn’t add hundreds of stacks of conditions (and thus hugely increase server bandwidth issues). Therefore, I think it’s worth a try.